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Ottawa, Mar 23 (Canadian-Media): B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner reported that some landlords were crossing their limits while getting personal information from prospective tenants, media reports said.
Drew McArthur, acting information and privacy commissioner was reported to state, "Low vacancy rates may prompt landlords to believe they can collect whatever information they want." ,
B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner office which collected personal information collected by 13 landlords during the tenancy application process and released its findings in a report published Thursday
It found in some cases landlords were asking applicants to provide months' worth of detailed bank statements, consent to do a credit check or even ask whether the applicant was single or married, which violates the Human Rights Code.
Only a few landlords, said David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord B.C., deviated from the privacy of tenants due to a lack of information.
David Hutniak (left)/Facebook page
The recommendations by the office included fewer personal information and their specific purpose. required on rental applications and waiving credit checks if the applicant provides sufficient references or documents relating to employment and income.
"It's an accurate piece of financial information that we can use as a landlord to assess the financial liability of this person to pay their rent," Hutniak was reported to state.
Hutniak also believes landlords should be allowed to collect information through social media or internet search engines.
"For us to totally ignore that platform in sort of getting a fuller view of who we are going to provide a home to, I think that needs to be re-thought," said Hutniak.
Landlords in B.C. are subject to the Personal Information Protection Act.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)